Collecting toy guns is borderline politically
They’ve been labeled as “war toys” and promoters of violence among
children. Others say if kids don’t have play guns they will make them
out of sticks anyway. This is probably true.
But no stick was ever as cool as these! Known as space guns or
ray guns, at left is the Daisy Zooka
Pop Pistol (1952, USA), a pop gun that shoots a cork. Below left
is an amazing squirt gun, the cast aluminum Atom Ray Gun by Hiller (1948, USA).
To the right of it, the red 33
Repeater pop gun from All-Metal Products (1936, Wyandotte,
Michigan, USA). Below left the phenomenal (and as heavy as it looks) Atomic Disintegrator cap pistol from
Hubley (c.1950, USA). Bottom right, the Buck Rogers XZ-31 Rocket Pistol from
Daisy that started the ray gun craze (1934, USA).
Below: I was a
detective for about six months in 1959. That was right after I
got this Mattel Official Detective
Shootin’ Shell Snub-Nose .38 for Christmas. You can see my
badge, below right, in its little vinyl wallet along with my official
Mattel Detective Squad ID card to which I added, as instructed, my
picture and fingerprint.
Obviously, I treasured this toy. Having the shoulder holster with this gun was just terrific, but there was one problem with it from a kid’s point of view. In order to wear the whole get-up, you needed to wear it with a suit or a sports jacket like the detectives on TV.
It needed to be concealed.
No fun packing heat if
people knew you were packing heat. Best if they just suspected it
the bulge in your jacket. Now in my world as a kid the only place I
wore a suit
was to church. You know where I’m going with this? Yes, after much
begging and pleading, I was finally allowed to wear my rod to church
one Sunday. And let me tell you, there were no problems with scofflaws
that day— no stealing from the offering plate or any other monkey
Thanks to the kid with the steely glint in
and the bulge in his jacket.